Angled Headstock vs. Straight Headstock

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MatrikzDaClown, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. MatrikzDaClown


    Jul 18, 2012
    I'm starting to do some research on piecing my first bass together. I've been playing on the same P-bass for 15 years and a SDGR SR-405 that I picked up about 8-9 years ago, so I think it's about time for a change or at least something new. I've played on tons of brands and styles, and I have decided that the dense woods like bubinga, wenge, ovangkol, and koa have more of the sound that I'm looking for with the mid growly sound similar to warwicks. I would like a warwick, but I'm not settling for one, so until I can afford the one I want then I'm building. I do realize this can get pricey, but i can buy pieces. That's the key.

    My question at the moment is, what is the major differences between angled headstocks and straight headstocks? How do these affect sounds in their own way, if at all? Does it carry more sustain? Pass on ANY info on this if ya don't mind, or anything else that might be beneficial for me to know while I start piecing my *hopefully* masterpiece together.
  2. Don't know how or if there is a difference in tone between angled or straight, but I do know that with a straight neck, you'll need a string guide to keep the tension on the strings that are anchored far away from the nut.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    An angled headstock pretty much "enforces" the proper string break / angle at the nut. I believe my Bordwell is the most severe at ~16 degrees.

  4. An angled headstock just makes it really hard to put the bass down. Both my basses have ~11 degree angled headstocks, and that's my only gripe with them.

  5. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    They mostly just help with string break angles. Keeps the A string from sounding like a sitar/making weird overtones, like sometimes happens with fenders.

    And they do make setting your bass down difficult. Can also make finding a hard shell case hard! I had to pull insulation out of my road runner case to fit the slanted headstock of my Schecter in it.
  6. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    If not angled, a string tree helps keeping the strings in the nut firmly.
  7. MatrikzDaClown


    Jul 18, 2012
    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for helping and giving your input. My SDGR has a very slight angle, so it doesn't affect me setting it down, but I'm not sure the degree of angle it has either. I think it's just enough to not need a string tree.

    This at the moment is all just research. I'm tired of spending money on things I settle with, so I'm gonna get what I want with this build.

    Are there any woods, that can be used for a body, out there that come close to the sound of bubinga. Warmoth currently doesn't offer any bubinga bodies, so was hoping to find something similar so I can go play one at GC or another store and compare sounds.
  8. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    To my opinion the SoundGears have just enough angle to be on the safe side. I play a cheap GSR200 which has the same angle. This works fine.

    I don't have knowledge about woods, so another TalkBassist may help you there.